Efficient transformation of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana and production of male-sterile plants by engineered anther ablation.
ABSTRACT Engineered male sterility in ornamental plants has many applications such as facilitate hybrid seed production, eliminate pollen allergens, reduce the need for deadheading to extend the flowering period, redirect resources from seeds to vegetative growth, increase flower longevity and prevent gene flow between genetically modified and related native plants. We have developed a reliable and efficient Agrobacterium-mediated protocol for the genetic transformation of different Kalanchoe blossfeldiana commercial cultivars. Transformation efficiency for cv. 'Hillary' was 55.3% whereas that of cv. 'Tenorio' reached 75.8%. Selection was carried out with the nptII gene and increasing the kanamycin concentration from 25 to 100 mg l(-1) allowed to reduced escapes from 50 to 60% to virtually 0%. This method was used to produce male-sterile plants through engineered anther ablation. In our approach, we tested a male sterility chimaeric gene construct (PsEND1::barnase) to evaluate its effectiveness and effect on phenotype. No significant differences were found in the growth patterns between the transgenic lines and the wild-type plants. No viable pollen grains were observed in the ablated anthers of any of the lines carrying the PsEND1::barnase construct, indicating that the male sterility was complete. In addition, seed set was completely abolished in all the transgenic plants obtained. Our engineered male-sterile approach could be used, alone or in combination with a female-sterility system, to reduce the invasive potential of new ornamentals, which has become an important environmental problem in many countries.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Pelargonium is one of the most popular garden plants in the world. Moreover, it has a considerable economic importance in the ornamental plant market. Conventional cross-breeding strategies have generated a range of cultivars with excellent traits. However, gene transfer via Agrobacterium tumefaciens could be a helpful tool to further improve Pelargonium by enabling the introduction of new genes/traits. We report a simple and reliable protocol for the genetic transformation of Pelargonium spp. and the production of engineered long-life and male sterile Pelargonium zonale plants, using the pSAG12::ipt and PsEND1::barnase chimaeric genes respectively. RESULTS: The pSAG12::ipt transgenic plants showed delayed leaf senescence, increased branching and reduced internodal length, as compared to control plants. Leaves and flowers of the pSAG12::ipt plants were reduced in size and displayed a more intense coloration. In the transgenic lines carrying the PsEND1::barnase construct no pollen grains were observed in the modified anther structures, which developed instead of normal anthers. The locules of sterile anthers collapsed 3--4 days prior to floral anthesis and, in most cases, the undeveloped anther tissues underwent necrosis. CONCLUSION: The chimaeric construct pSAG12::ipt can be useful in Pelargonium spp. to delay the senescence process and to modify plant architecture. In addition, the use of engineered male sterile plants would be especially useful to produce environmentally friendly transgenic plants carrying new traits by preventing gene flow between the genetically modified ornamentals and related plant species. These characteristics could be of interest, from a commercial point of view, both for pelargonium producers and consumers.BMC Plant Biology 08/2012; 12(1):156. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pectin methylesterases (PMEs) are a family of enzymes involved in plant reproductive processes such as pollen development and pollen tube growth. We have isolated and characterized PsPMEP, a pea (Pisum sativum L.) pollen-specific gene that encodes a protein with homology to PMEs. Sequence analysis showed that PsPMEP belongs to group 2 PMEs, which are characterized by the presence of a processable amino-terminal PME inhibitor domain followed by the catalytic PME domain. Moreover, PsPMEP contains several motifs highly conserved among PMEs with the essential amino acid residues involved in enzyme substrate binding and catalysis. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses showed that PsPMEP is expressed in pollen grains from 4 days before anthesis till anther dehiscence and in pollinated carpels. In the PsPMEP promoter region, we have identified several conserved cis-regulatory elements that have been associated with gene pollen-specific expression. Expression analysis of PsPMEP promoter fused to the uidA reporter gene in Arabidopsis thaliana plants showed a similar expression pattern when compared with pea, indicating that this promoter is also functional in a non-leguminous plant. GUS expression was detected in mature pollen grains, during pollen germination, during pollen tube elongation along the transmitting tract, and when the pollen tube reaches the embryo sac in the ovule.Plant reproduction. 07/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Climatic extremes threaten agricultural sustainability worldwide. One approach to increase plant water- use efficiency (WUE) is to introduce crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) into C3 crops. Such a task requires comprehensive systems-level understanding of the enzymatic and regulatory pathways underpinning this temporal CO2 pump. Here we review the progress that has been made in achieving this goal. Given that CAM arose through multiple independent evolutionary ori- gins, comparative transcriptomics and genomics of taxonomically diverse CAM species are being used to define the genetic ‘parts list’ required to operate the core CAM functional modules of nocturnal carboxylation, diurnal decarboxylation, and inverse stomatal regulation. Engi- neered CAM offers the potential to sustain plant productivity for food, feed, fiber, and biofuel production in hotter and drier climates.Trends in Plant Science 02/2014; 19(6). · 11.81 Impact Factor